Bullriders expected to thrill crowd

Penticton Speedway Bull-A-Rama attracted 30 western Canadian bull riders for weekend event

Thirty bullriders are prepared to hang on for bucking battles in Penticton Speedway’s Bull-A-Rama this weekend.

Making the physical challenge worthwhile is more than $10,000 in purse money.

Among the riders is Penticton’s Chad Eneas, a veteran of 21 years, who won the Summerland Pro Bullriding Stampede last summer.

“There is going to be some good bulls there. Good purse money. It’s right here at home,” said Eneas of the reasons for entering. “It’s kind of like defending my home turf I guess. It’s always nice to be at home.”

Eneas hasn’t been competing much this year as he recovers from whiplash he suffered in a car accident last winter. Being away from the sport he loves left Eneas “craving it a little bit more.”

Even though he hasn’t competed in a while, Eneas is confident he will perform well and is motivated by being at home.

Of course, Eneas knows the other riders will be strong since they have been competing since February.

“They are not coming to take second or third. They all want to win it,” said Eneas, who is inspired by legendary cowboys such as the late Kenny McLean of Okanagan Falls.

Along with riders from B.C., the event has attracted cowboys from New Zealand, Ireland and Australia.

Eneas isn’t the only person excited about Bull-A-Rama. Penticton Speedway owner Johnny Aantjes is anxious to see how the weekend turns out.

“I’m getting a great response from everybody,” said Aantjes, whose event is sponsored by Penticton Toyota.

He’s looking forward to the challenge the bulls will provide.

“We’ve got 45 of the biggest, meanest bulls you’ve ever seen coming to the Speedway,” he said. “Anybody who has been to a bull riding event, it’s really popular. So much adrenaline. When these guys stay on that bull, get a good ride out of it, it’s a lot of fun.”

There will also be a bullfighter competition during the intermission, a beverage gardens, live entertainment and a petting zoo.

Also, garnering attention is a crack-the-code contest as Penticton Toyota has offered up his and her Toyota Tacoma 4×4 double cab V6 and Tundra 4×4 Crewmax SR5 5.7l, worth $130,000. To win, spectators punch in a seven-digit code they think is the winning one.

“I just think it’s going to be a really fun family weekend,” said Aantjes, who anticipates they will attract about 3,000 spectators per day.

Saturday’s action is from 5-11 p.m. and Sunday is from 3-6 p.m.

Advance tickets are available at www.pentictonspeedway.com or by contacting pentictonspeedway17@gmail.com or at The Best Damn Sports Bar, The Pasta Factory, Penticton Toyota, Charlie’s Market and Duncan Grocery.